The Thunder, who have now won three games in a row behind emerging star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, continue to edge closer and closer to a return to the NBA Playoffs.
It might not be this year, but with second overall selection Chet Holmgren, a new 2023 Draftee and more, they could be looking to make a run next season.
But the list is still quite far. In order to iron out the issues and tighten up, they will be looking to add trades players through their unprecedented cache of draft picks.
Luckily for them, a player who screams the name of general manager Sam Presti has reportedly become available.
Spurs center Jakob Poeltl is said to be a “trade candidate”, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Poeltl has had a strong start to the season, averaging 14.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 66% from the field.
At 7-foot-1, Poeltl has several attributes that Presti says could fit perfectly into the Thunder rotation.
Poeltl is an effective post scorer, and at nearly four assists a game fits well with what the Thunder are trying to build. He’s by no means a paint protector like Holmgren, but could fit right in next to him to add to OKC’s growing list of extremely unique lineups.
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San Antonio, on the other hand, needs future assets rather than current assets, and an aging Poeltl does little for them to catch Wembanyama.
Here’s what a mock trade between OKC and San Antonio might look like:
Oklahoma City Thunder receives: Jakob Poeltl
San Antonio Spurs get: 2025 Miami Heat first-round pick, 2027 Nuggets first-round pick
While Poeltl probably isn’t worth the Thunder’s own picks, or any version of the potentially excellent picks from Houston or Los Angeles, he’s valuable.
Two first-round picks seem fair, even though they probably aren’t lottery picks.
Spurs could choose to hang on to these and nab players for the future or consolidate these selections down the line in order to land top-tier talent.
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